This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 3, 2011 8:46 AM. The previous post in this blog was No-bid contract stinker in Wilsonville. The next post in this blog is Feds finally cut frills -- air safety inspectors. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A courageous voice is stilled

Yesterday we received in the snail mail a newsletter from the Oregon chapter of the Nobel Prize-winning organization Physicians for Social Responsibility, whose primary mission is to put an end to nuclear weapons and otherwise prevent the spread of radioactive contamination worldwide. On its cover was an article by Rudi Nussbaum, an emeritus professor of physics and environmental sciences at Portland State.

We know Dr. Nussbaum from seeing him in action 25 years ago, speaking out against the environmental atrocities that had been, and were still being, committed at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, the federal atomic bomb factory on the Columbia River in south central Washington State. Nussbaum had a way of cutting through the nuclear industry's endless flow of misinformation, and he made a convincing case that nuclear power, like nuclear weapons production, has caused grave harm to many innocent neighbors of atomic facilities. The latest article in the PSR newsletter, which is well worth reading, was classic Nussbaum.

Anyway, we went Googling around to see what else he might be up to these days, and we were stopped cold by this page, which announced:

It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of Dr. Rudi Nussbaum, who died in Holland after a fall. Rudi was an avowed pacifist and Holocaust survivor and an expert on the health effects of radiation exposure. As his longtime friend, Lloyd Marbet writes: "His work as a Professor Emeritus of Physics and Environmental Science at Portland State University was instrumental in raising alarm over the health effects of radiation exposure. He wrote numerous papers on this subject and participated in gathering valuable information on workers and civilians that were exposed to radiation at Hanford and in surrounding communities, for which he became a vocal advocate for environmental justice. He helped bring the famous epidemiologist, Alice Stewart, to Portland, and promoted her life story."

Nussbaum, who was 89 years old, was a German Jew. He and his then-girlfriend, later-wife, Laureen, successfully dodged the Nazis in Holland for several years. Laureen was a close childhood friend of Anne Frank's sister. The Nussbaums moved to the United States in 1957. Laureen, who survives her husband, is also a retired Portland State professor.

Like many other independent thinkers who question the safety of the nuclear industry, Rudi Nussbaum was at times ridiculed and attacked. He never let it faze him -- he told it like it was, year after year. He was sharp as a tack right to the end. People like this are not replaceable. Heaven rest his great soul.

Comments (1)


So long, Rudi...I hope you either trained up, or inspired, someone to step into your shoes. They will be needed now, more than ever.

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